Posts Tagged ‘grief’

“Since my earliest childhood a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am alive, if it is pulled out I shall die.” –Søren Kierkegaard

I received a phone call on my son’s birthday that a lady who had been helping my father during his illness arrived at his apartment and found his walker in the garage and his car gone. She knew this did not bode well because he was not supposed to drive with his poor eyesight, and he had been in terrible pain for a few months. She frantically drove out in her car, weeping and calling out his name as she searched up and down the highways and around the villages. In desperation, she drove to the police and reported him missing. They tracked his phone and found him dead in his car. He had driven to a secluded area and taken a handful of pills, and ended his suffering there alone.

I did not learn until later that various people had been aware that he planned to end his life, and that he had asked them not to tell me because I would try to talk him out of it. He said he did not want to hurt me anymore than I’d already been hurt. He had surgery only a few days before his death, and I am grieved to think his pain might have subsided if he had been encouraged to hold on awhile longer. I have heard that there may have been cancer or other issues that he didn’t reveal, but it doesn’t change the way that I feel.

I had missed my father every day of my entire life from the time I was a little girl. One of my earliest memories of him is when he visited me while a woman waited in a car in the driveway for him. My mother was inside the house and my heart broke for her and for me. That has been the story of my life. There was always a woman keeping me from my father, and I’ve always been jealous of anyone who got to enjoy his company, because I never did. I still love my father and I forgive him for his ways that he could not change.

Over the past few years, he told me he felt many regrets about the pain he inflicted on my mother and sister and me. Visiting Spain was painful, because it let me see the beautiful life that he never would include me in. Someone in Spain recently sent me a message which I had to translate from Spanish, saying that my father had horrific recurring nightmares in the months before he died: He dreamed that the two of you, you and your sister were still little and were crying, screaming, grabbing his pants legs … Begging him not to leave … That he would not abandon you ….He would wake up crying, sweaty, he would sit on the bed and put his hands on his face …. He was very aware of the pain he caused you. It hurts me that I did not know how to transmit it.

I have also learned a few things he said about me, which I had not known before he died. I asked a Spanish lady to place a purple flower in my name at his memorial service. I later saw the photograph of the lovely orchid she offered on my behalf, and saw a note attached which read, “With Love to My Poppy from your Delicate Flower.” The lady explained that my father called me his delicate flower and that he often said that I was amazingly strong and yet very delicate. He told her he respected and admired me. It means so much to know that he felt this way. I still talk with him in my mind and send him text messages, because I miss him terribly. I had hoped to visit him during the holidays, but now my dreams of time with him are shattered.

I will always remember the lady who searched for my father and tried to save him. I felt that I was driving with her and screaming through the car window that day, and I too was crushed with a terrible weight when they found his body.

Please pray for me and my family in this emotional time.

Peace and Grace,
~Olive~

 

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An old friend sent me this poem in the wee hours of the morning, saying it was on a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap and she thought of me. Good ol’ Dr. Bronner!

I almost cried when I read it along with a brief  history of the author.  It really “speaketh to my condition” as the Quakers used to say.

On the last line, I wanted to see some words about invincible women too, but I’ll deal with it somehow…

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‘if’ by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

(Well, I must concede that “you’ll be a woman, my daughter” wouldn’t rhyme or sound quite as good…)

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

“Rudyard Kipling’s inspirational poem ‘If’ first appeared in his collection ‘Rewards and Fairies’ in 1909. The poem ‘If’ is inspirational, motivational, and a set of rules for ‘grown-up’ living. Kipling’s ‘If’ contains mottos and maxims for life, and the poem is also a blueprint for personal integrity, behavior and self-development. ‘If’ is perhaps even more relevant today than when Kipling wrote it, as an ethos and a personal philosophy…

“The beauty and elegance of ‘If’ contrasts starkly with Rudyard Kipling’s largely tragic and unhappy life. He was starved of love and attention and sent away by his parents; beaten and abused by his foster mother; and a failure at a public school which sought to develop qualities that were completely alien to Kipling…”

Thanks again, Dr. Bronner!

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